The Rise of the Home Worker

Thursday 17 March 2011

With all the issues in the Middle East and the UK Government’s continued efforts to Tax us into surrender, the cost of fuel is now prohibitive.

I was going to say, “ starting to become prohibitive” but I think things have gone way too far already.

With the exception of the cash rich or generous companies paying out decent mileage allowances, a lot of people are genuinely trying to cut down travel expenses. People are finding it increasingly difficult to leave their homes.

Ever thought, “ what should I buy my wife for her Birthday?”

How about something rare, something valuable, something that will rise in value? An investment?

Buy her a can of petrol and see how your investment will rise in value quicker than any diamond or gold jewellery that’s for sure!

From a company perspective, there have been cases, too numerous to mention, where sales and sales support staff have travelled hundreds of miles only to be contacted just as they pull up to their destination to be told that their meeting has been cancelled due to an unforeseen dentist appointment or clash of diaries.

Why do we continue to do it when there are so many other ways of communicating that don’t mean you getting up at five in the morning to avoid the traffic for a four hundred mile road trip and a one-hour meeting?

With everything else that is going on in the economy, people are constantly re-evaluating what they spend and how they spend it.

When I wrote in November I was talking about how everyone was looking at tightening their belts and what this might mean from a consumers point of view in IT. I think these views still stand true and are in many ways exacerbated by the current fuel pricing and a stalling economy.

But stiff upper lip and all that, we can beat this. We can turn it to our advantage. We can improve the quality of our lives, we can save money and we can still run our businesses and produce and sell products.

Technology has made and is making life easier and easier by mobilising the workplace.

We have Skype, GoToMeeting, WebEx, iPhones, Androids and Tablets. We have access to information from the web through Google and social networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter.

From a business-to-business perspective, we have Video Conferencing, Webinars, Linked-in and Plaxo and of course the Cloud (my personal favourite).

All of these are not only convenient but save money… and fuel. It is inevitable that the virtual office and home working is going to be increasingly acceptable in modern day computerised businesses.

People can be just as efficient and in many cases more efficient by logging on via VPN and chatting to the team over Skype.

Everything is in place to revolutionise the way we do business.

Stick a couple of well-directed fingers up to the politicians and oligarchs and make them start to realise that we can’t be played with.

Business will find a way of surviving and flourishing against adversity.

We have never been in a better position to innovate and shift old-fashioned dependencies away from oil and petrol.

… Now if they started to charge a fortune for the Internet we’d really be in the…

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